Dec 4, 2019
Are You Seeding Your Future?By Tim Hodson

“We are reaching a defining moment in horticulture. The greenhouse growers, garden center owners and, in fact, most of the horticulturists of today are aging and retiring.”

That is the scary opening line in Susan Yoder’s article in the most recent issue of GPN’s Big Grower. Yoder is the executive director of Seed Your Future — “a movement to promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.”

In her article, “Cultivating the Next Generation of Green Collar Professionals,” Yoder examines the impending challenges our industry faces as it struggles to find fresh, young talent who will carry us into the future.

Yoder points out how the members of our industry can inspire people to join the ranks of the green-collar world. She says, “We are living in a time of great disconnection with plants. Plants are everywhere — yet plants are nowhere on the minds of most Americans.”

Seed Your Future is working diligently to correct this disconnect and get young people excited about plants and the career opportunities they have to offer. The organization is inviting anyone involved in the horticulture industry to join its efforts and educate and inspire young people.

The organization has created different marketing campaigns and is developing tools that you can use to enlighten others so “we can ensure that the next generation is raised with green thumbs, and knows how to get them dirty.”

You can learn more about Seed Your Future’s activities by visiting www.seedyourfuture.org.

— Tim

 

Blain’s to Add New Michigan Location

Blain’s Farm & Fleet recently announced it has reached an agreement to build a fifth Michigan store in Walker-Standale. The 106,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020. The store will be located in the City of Walker-Standale Shopping District, next to a Meijer store. The Walker-Standale store is the latest in Blain’s expansion into Michigan, which includes stores in Jackson, Portage, Traverse City and the recently opened store in Holland. The Walker-Standale store brings the total number of Blain’s Farm & Fleet locations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan to 43.

Walmart Refreshes Produce Departments, Adds More Local and Organic Products

Walmart is making some changes to the aesthetics and organization of its produce departments. The company recently highlighted some of its commitments to adding more locally grown and organic produce selections to its stores. In addition, Walmart is implementing more lighting and “low-profile” bin displays and grouping organic options together. There also will be larger signage and more space between bins and displays to allow employees and shoppers to navigate the department easier. Walmart’s produce department changes have already started in some stores, with all locations expected to be finished by next summer.

Sam’s Club Gets New President/CEO

Last month, Kathryn McLay was named president and CEO of Sam’s Club stores. She will replace John Furner, who was recently named Walmart U.S. CEO. McLay’s had been executive vice president of Neighborhood Markets where she led the growth and overall operations of nearly 700 stores across the U.S. McLay joined Walmart in 2015 as vice president of U.S. finance and strategy. She was then promoted to senior vice president of supply chain where she had responsibility for transforming the retailer’s inventory processes.


Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]



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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.
Ben Vliestra
Sidney Phelps
Jennifer Moss
Daniel Norden
W. Garrett Owen
Jessica Montgomery
Elien Peters
Rose Oberholzer
Nikki Melin

July 2020 GPN
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